Skip Navigation
Funding Opportunities | Search Funded Research Grants and Contracts

IES Grant

Title: Video- and App-Based Naturalistic Language Instruction (VALI) for Spanish-Speaking Caregivers to Support Bilingual Language Development in Children With or At Risk for Language Delays
Center: NCSER Year: 2020
Principal Investigator: Larson, Anne Awardee: University of Minnesota
Program: Early Career Development and Mentoring      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years (07/01/2020 – 06/30/2024) Award Amount: $499,927
Type: Training Award Number: R324B200038

Previous Award Number: R324B200009
Previous Awardee: Utah State University

Mentors: Snyder, Patricia; Wackerle-Hollman, Alicia

Purpose: The Principal Investigator (PI) will conduct a program of research for improving outcomes among young dual language learners (DLLs) with language delays, while participating in mentoring and training activities to develop knowledge and skills related to this population, methods for developing and evaluating interventions, and writing and dissemination. Early language skills are critical for later reading and school achievement, yet little is known about effective language interventions for young children with language delays and their families who speak a language other than English. As policymakers and practitioners continue to plan for a growing population of Spanish-speaking caregivers and their children with, or at-risk for, language delays, there is a need to for caregiver coaching and student intervention strategies that are culturally and linguistically appropriate for this population. The goal of the current study is to develop and test a Video- and App-based naturalistic Language Instruction intervention (VALI) to improve caregivers' use of the home language and naturalistic language intervention strategies (NLIS) and communication outcomes for young DLLs who receive Part C services for language delays.

Research Plan: The purpose of the research plan is to adapt an existing app, Háblame Bebé, that provides information to Spanish-speaking families about the importance of frequent and responsive verbal interactions with children in the home language but does not provide information on how to embed NLIS within everyday activities and routines to support DLLs with language delay. The current study will develop, refine, and test an adapted version that addresses these shortcomings across three phases. In Phase 1, VALI content and coaching procedures will be adapted and developed for providers to deliver video-based feedback to caregivers. Feedback on the acceptability, usability, and feasibility will be obtained through stakeholder surveys, focus groups, and a field study. Phase 2 will use a single-case design study to test the feasibility and fidelity of implementation of VALI across a small number of provider-caregiver-child triads. The PI will make final revisions to VALI based on feedback from coaches and caregivers. In Phase 3, the PI will conduct a small randomized controlled trial with approximately 30 provider-caregiver-child triads to assess the promise of VALI for improving caregiver use of NLIS in the home language and child language outcomes (receptive and expressive skills in Spanish and English). Fidelity will be assessed through an observational checklist. Feasibility and acceptability of the intervention will be assessed through provider and caregiver checklists and surveys. Data from the single-case design studies will be analyzed using visual and statistical analysis and pilot study data will be analyzed using linear regressions. The PI will also conduct a cost analysis to determine the cost of implementing the final version of the intervention.

Career Plan: Through a career development plan, the PI intends to (1) deepen knowledge of young DLLs with language delays, (2) increase knowledge and practical application of methods to iteratively develop and evaluate interventions, and (3) hone writing and dissemination skills. To accomplish these goals, the PI will conduct monthly meetings with mentors, receive guidance from expert consultants, participate in courses and workshops related to research methods, and attend trainings on grant writing and grants management.